Every international student that attends Western Christian Schools away from his/her parent(s) must have a guardian chosen and appointed by the student’s parent(s). The parent of the student must complete the guardian information form at the time of application. When the application is submitted, the parent must also submit a notarized Power of Attorney designating an individual as guardian.
At the time of application or when a new guardian is being chosen, the student’s parents must write a letter to the school informing the school of the guardian appointment and/or change. The letter can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the international program office and/or it can be included in the original student application. This letter, along with a notarized Power of Attorney and the WCS guardian forms, will be kept in the student file for the duration of his/her time as student of WCS. The letter can simply state the decision to appoint the guardian and should contain the guardian information as well as any contact information for both the parent and guardian. The notarized Power of Attorney will allow the guardian to seek medical care on behalf of the student.
What is a Legal Guardian?
A guardian is an adult to whom the student’s parent(s) have/has given authority and responsibility to provide care for a child, or to manage the child’s education and living arrangements while attending Western Christian Schools.
Guardianship is the responsibility one person has over another person. The most common use of the term is with regard to an adult-minor relationship. This typically involves the appointment of a guardian by the student’s parents since the student is attending school in a different country, apart from his/her parents. The guardian is responsible for the full personal care of the student. Granting an adult full guardianship over a minor gives that individual the same rights of a parent to a child. Parents of the student must provide a notarized Power of Attorney designating guardianship to an individual.
In an effort to protect the privacy of its students, Western Christian Schools will only discuss the student’s education, discipline, and other pertinent details with the biological parent and/or parent-appointed guardian.
The guardian assumes the care, custody, and control of the child. As guardian, you are responsible for providing for food, clothing, shelter, education, and all the medical and dental needs of the child. You must provide for the safety, protection, and physical and emotional growth of the child. Like a parent, you should maintain close contact with the student, the school, and student’s parents. Raising children is not easy. You should become familiar with community resources that can assist both you and the child.
As of October 1, 2012, the guardian must pick up and sign for the acceptance package from the international program office. Acceptance letters/packages will no longer be mailed to the student.
As of August 1, 2018, the parents must provide a notarized Power of Attorney to designate a guardian. Students who wish to change their guardian must provide a new, notarized Power of Attorney naming the newly chosen guardian.
Who May Be Legal Guardians?
Relatives, friends of the family, or other interested persons may be considered as potential legal guardians. Guardians are appointed by the parent and can only be changed by the parent of the student. Guardians should be able to speak the language of the student’s home country as well as English.
As guardian of the minor student, you have the authority to consent to the minor’s application for a driver’s license. If you consent, you will become liable for any civil and/or property damages that may result if the minor causes an accident. The law requires that anyone signing the DMV application obtain insurance to cover the minor. The host family is not allowed to take the student to the DMV, include the student on their own insurance or provide driver’s training. All of these activities are the responsibility of the guardian.
Change of address
A guardian must notify the school (international program office) in writing in advance to notify of any upcoming change in the address of either the child or the guardian. This includes any changes that result from the child’s leaving the guardian’s home or returning to the home country. The guardian must always obtain permission from the International Director or Program Coordinator before moving the child to another host home or remove the child from the current host home. If the student does not live with the guardian, the student must be placed in a host home. All host home placements are required to go through the WCHS host family coordinator. Guardians must contact the school’s international program office to obtain necessary paperwork.
If, for any reason, the student is removed from a host home or if the school determines it is in the best interest of the student, the guardian must provide the student with room and board as well as transportation during the school calendar year. Guardians may not place the student in a home other than their own without the express permission of the school (International Program Director).
Misconduct of the child
A guardian, like a parent, is liable for the harm and damages caused by the willful misconduct of a child. In the event that a situation occurs in the host home or on the school campus, the guardian will be contacted. If required, the guardian must be available to pick up the student who is being suspended or disciplined following an egregious breach of behavior/standard of conduct (found in our Parent/Student Handbook)
Private agreements chosen by the parent
Western students have private agreements between the student’s parents and the US guardian to provide care for the student. A written agreement is made showing that the parents’ consent to the appointment of the guardian. The notarized Power of Attorney is also beneficial to secure a medical release for emergencies, especially if a parent is not readily available. All forms must be on file prior to processing a student application. In the event that the parent of the student changes the appointment of the guardian, the parent must submit a new Power of Attorney for the student and the new guardian must come to the WCHS office to sign paperwork. The Power of Attorney along with the guardian form are kept on file in the International Program office.